How Are Settlements Determined in Florida Slip and Fall Cases?
When it comes to slip and fall cases, no one settlement is the same. We will explain how settlements are determined, and what types of damages are available for injured persons who suffer a slip and fall in Florida.
All Factors Considered
When it comes to calculating settlement amounts in Florida slip and fall cases, all factors are considered. If the person was hurt but not seriously injured, the settlement amount is likely to be lower than it would be if someone fell and is now disabled and no longer able to perform the job duties he or she once did. The facts as to what happened and how it happened are extremely important, and all play a role in determining how much damages an injured person will receive.
Settlements will always include an award for economic damages, which are the quantifiable damages that come from the slip and fall injury. Most of the time, these damages are calculated by taking all of the injured person’s bills and receipts for different types of losses, including:
- Medical bills;
- Property damage;
- Lost wages or earnings;
- Future loss of income; and
- An estimate of future medical expenses.
When calculating the settlement amount, these types of damages are relatively easy to calculate since they normally involve expenses that have either already been incurred or are expected to be incurred.
In addition to economic damages, slip and fall cases in Florida can also take into account general damages. These damages are referred to as non-economic damages, and they are the damages that are more subjective and associated with non-monetary loss. These losses are still significant and can actually be quite high depending on how severe the injury was. General damages can include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Emotional distress
When calculating these damages, a multiplier will be used, which is a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on how severe the injury was and how serious the general damages may be. If the injury is severe and lifelong, it is likely the settlement amount will be higher.
The Fault Factor
When it comes to personal injury claims in Florida, including slip and falls, the issue of fault almost always comes into play. What happens when the injured party is also to blame for some part of the accident? For these cases, Florida uses the “pure comparative fault” rule, which reduces the damages the injured person receives based on the percentage that he or she played a role in the accident occurring. For instance, if someone slipped in a wet spot in a grocery store but the insurance adjuster found that because of the actions of the plaintiff, he or she was 10 percent to blame for what happened, the total amount of damages would be reduced by 10 percent. Since Florida follows the “pure” comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff can still recover even if he or she was more than 50 percent at-fault for the accident. The amount of damages received in the settlement would simply be reduced by the percentage of blame. Many states will not allow recovery if someone is responsible by more than 50 percent, but fortunately in Florida for injured victims, there is always the possibility of recovery regardless of how much someone is at fault.
As experienced Miami slip and fall accident lawyers, we understand Florida’s slip-and-fall laws and how to hold businesses accountable for our client’s injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you have suffered a slip and fall at a grocery store, restaurant or retail store in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, The Keys or anywhere in the State of Florida it is critically important for you to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights. When selecting a lawyer- ask them about their qualifications and experience in claims against grocery stores, retailers and restaurants. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in slip and fall claims across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer about your potential claim.